Thursday, October 21, 2021

Effie Brown to Deliver Keynote Address at 12th annual Film Independent Forum

Producer Effie Brown attends a Photocall for the Diversity As An Ethos Special Event during the Sundance Film Festival: London at Picturehouse Central on June 4, 2016 in London, England.
Producer Effie Brown attends a Photocall for the Diversity As An Ethos Special Event during the Sundance Film Festival: London at Picturehouse Central on June 4, 2016 in London, England.

*Effie Brown, the veteran film exec who famously schooled Matt Damon on diversity, will give the keynote address at the 12th annual Film Independent Forum, which will take place Oct. 21-23, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Brown produced the critically acclaimed film “Dear White People” and is currently the executive vp production and development at Lee Daniels Entertainment.

Director Jeff Nichols‘ drama “Loving,” about the interracial couple who took the fight for their marriage to the Supreme Court, will serve as the opening-night screening, and will be followed by a Q&A with Nichols and stars Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga.

“We’re so excited to open the Forum with Loving, such a timely and poignant film from Jeff Nichols, one of the most insightful auteur directors working today,” Maria Raquel Bozzi, Film Independent’s senior director of education, said Tuesday in a statement. “We could not think of a better Keynote than Effie Brown, who perfectly embodies the ‘working filmmaker’ we strive to celebrate and support.”

Panelists for the weekend-long event, to be held at the DGA building in Hollywood, will include “Mr. Robot” creator Sam Esmail, “Tallulah” director Sian Heder and “Queen Sugar” director-producer Tina Mabry, with additional panelists to be announced.

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Matt Damon and Effie Brown argue over diversity on “Project Greenlight” (Sept 2015)

Effie Brown’s argument with Damon on how to best address diversity was captured in HBO’s “Project Greenlight” last September and led to the social media hashtag “#Damonsplaining.” Brown was lobbying the film’s executive producer Damon to cast a directing duo of color who could address the stereotypical nature of the script’s lone African American character. But Damon didn’t feel the duo was the most talented of the directors vying for the job. The show follows the chosen director’s journey throughout the course of an entire film shoot.

“When we’re talking about diversity, you do it in the casting of the film, not in the casting of the show,” he told Brown, which caused her to draw back and say, “Wow.”

Read more details about that exchange here.

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